20 Tips and Insights I Learned from A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind

I'm always of search of cleaning tips to help me to find new interesting ways of doing things and to keep my motivation up. Besides, it's always fun to see how other people stay on top of their house cleaning tasks. So when I picked up the book, A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind by Shoukei Matsumoto, my curiousity was more centered on how a clean house maps to a clean mind.

Many of the cleaning tips in the book are familar - as you will see below. Also, depending on where you are in the world and your cultural background, some of the tips may not be practical. However the work ethic will not be lost on you.

One of the major lesson I learned - which I did not list below - is the effort that went into training new monk's on how to keep themselves and their surroundings clean. Not only that, they also got strict training in knowing where everything was supposed to be, in other words, a place for everything and everything in it's place.

Do you remember ever being trained in the art of homemaking?

Anyway, what I really enjoyed were Matsumoto's insights about cleaning and how the act of cleaning itself positively influences us and our lives while the lack of cleaning regularly can leave negative effects.

So basically, some of what I learned from his book is of how a dirty house can lead to unhappy selves and have an impact on our relationships.

Below I've listed 20 of the cleaning tips as well as some insights from his book, which served as reminders for me with very eye opening aspects.

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  1. Take care of your cleaning equipment.

  2. If only a small number of kitchen appliances and implements are involved in the preparation of a meal, then cleaning up is always very easy.

  3. Baking soda is effective for cleaning sinks.

  4. To prevent water stains from forming around the sink and drain, you need to completely dry any leftover water.

  5. Soaking cooking utensils that have been burned or dirtied in the sink and leaving them until the next day is not acceptable.

  6. The most important thing about washing dishes is not to allow them to pile up.

  7. Use any free time during the cooking process to wash dirtied dishes and tidy up the kitchen.

  8. Clutter that is hastily stowed away in drawers before a guest shows up will give an air of disorder to a room.

  9. Cutting corners on one task leads us to cut corners on another and then another leading to a weakening of the heart.

  10. It is vital that you complete your daily tasks on the day they should be done.

  11. Baking soda works well for perspiration stains or for whites which have lost their brightness.

  12. Vinegar makes a wonderful fabric softener.

  13. Always look for ways to improve the flow of air in your home, and live at one with air.

  14. Do not put unnecessary things in a room.

  15. It is vital that you get rid of anything that you do not need.

  16. Mold can be found in areas with little sunlight, little air, and lots of moisture.

  17. Avoid creating environments where mold can grow.

  18. If you use an object for as long as you can carefully, repairing it when necessary, you will find that not only your relationship with the object begin to change, but so will the way you relate to people.

  19. If you cannot restore an object to its original state, you should find a new way to use it.

  20. People who endlessly chase after new things have lost their freedom to earthly desire. Only those who can enjoy using their imaginations when working with limited resources know true freedom.

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